Oat (Imperial Oatmeal Stout) | Southern Tier Brewing Company

Oat (Imperial Oatmeal Stout)Oat (Imperial Oatmeal Stout)
Liked This Beer
4.1 w/ 1,366 ratings
Oat (Imperial Oatmeal Stout)Oat (Imperial Oatmeal Stout)

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Blackwater Imperial Stout Series is full of delicious dessert beers, with one exception: Oat, our Imperial Oatmeal Stout. Pouring black as night, with a mocha colored head, big dark flavors of molasses and bitter malts conspire to hide the high alcohol content.

Brewed with 2-row pale malt, oats, caramel malt, barley flakes, chocolate malt, black malt, Columbus and Willamette hops, this beer is chock-full of what a real imperial stout should be brewed with. We’re brewing it expressly for the turning seasons. It’s a great beer to kick back with on a cool fall evening, or cellar some away for when the snow starts to fly.

Added by John on 12-17-2004

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,366 |  Reviews: 680
Photo of Hornet2003
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Why is it characterized as "jet" black? Like, this stuff is black, but how does that equate to a jet. Maybe. "pitch"???!

Smell: Very roasty and a little bit of earthy hops. Coffee, and Chocolate.

Taste: Coffee, Chocolate, and a slightly estery yeast flavour.

Mouthfeel: Smooth is such a generic term. This beer is small-bubbled and delicious. There's definitely a lot of hops that were thrown in the boil.

Drinkability: Much like their Java, the alcohol is there in intoxication, but almost absent in taste and aroma. This makes it excessively easy to drink. The bitterness makes it a little charcoal-y but holy crap, what an incredible beer.

Overall: I'm happy with this beer, but way too expensive. Over $10 per bottle, I'd probably rather have a Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. They're extremely similar, but this stuff is really nice.

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Photo of Lexluthor33
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewed Fall 2008
Deep dark brown, nice size head, good consistent lace.
The aroma of malts, light hops, a hint of chocolate.
The taste was bitter sweet, hops, chocolate and roasted malts.
This was a full body, medium carbonation beer.
Well balanced, easy to drink.

The hops are good and the carbonation is just right.
I poured this into a snifter.
It was Malt heavy with a hint of oats.
I liked that this was not a syrupy beer.
The finish had a hint of vanilla.
Well worth having.

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Photo of brdc
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks, I believe, to googzoid10 for this one.
2008 version, presumably cellared.

Pitch black, almost no head despite vigorous pour, and whatever is there, has no retention or lacing.
Nice aroma, roasted, but not so roasted malts; chocolate, coffee and oatmeal, in a delicate, not in your nose way.
Medium bodied, it definitely could use a lot more body, ABV and style considered.
It is mostly sweet, as the roasted malts never cross into charred territory.
It is well balanced, quite pleasant, very easy to drink, with tradiitional oatmeal stout taste, but for whatever reason, the combination of chocolate, oatmeal and sweet coffee lacks a bit of a kick.

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Photo of thain709
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - The beer poured a very deep brown...you could see the brown highlights towards the edge...the head was khaki in color and very small...it disappeared quickly but came right back with a swirl...some lacing

S - The nose only provided a heavy roasted malt aroma with dashes of chocolate and oats...not as big as a Southern Tier nose usually is

T - This is one heavily roasted beer...the malts are roasted hard and as the beer warms they start to become a little burnt in flavor...the burnt flavor leads to a coffee aftertaste...the chocolate stands out since it is chocolate malt and the oats are there but very little...there is also an alcohol taste all around

M - Medium bodied...the beer is dry but also smooth

D - This one weighs in at 11% and I was happy to be sharing it with someone else...I've had better oatmeal stouts and I was expecting more coming from Southern Tier...this one doesn't stand up to their other imperial stouts

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Photo of goblue3509
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep dark brown color almost like a cola with a slight khaki colored head. The aroma is of alcohol, but also some chocolate, coffee, raisins, and yes a little oat, as well as a roasted malt. The taste is a roasted malt backbone, but there is also a good chocolate note, faint coffee, and a slight oatmeal taste at the end. The mouthfeel is of slight carbonation and is silky. The drinkability is good, your not going to pound them, but you can sit and sip a couple or more of these.

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Photo of kiddynamite920
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle that says 11% on the label, rather than the 9.6% listed here on BA. Deep, dark and luscious looking with a thick tan head.. Poured into my very large snifter and the aroma coming off this thing is very strong. Once you get past the alcohol on the nose, this opens up to give off some great aromas. Caramel, dry fruits and even a banana aroma? Maybe it's just me. Coffee and chocolate of course, and a hint of oats. Tastes of bitter chocolate and cold coffee. A little astringent, needs a bit more malt to smooth it out. It may be the heat of the alcohol that is contributing to the bitterness. Could certainly see this aging well. Very creamy on the mouthfeel, the Blackwater Series all seem to have great mouthfeel. Too boozy to be drinkable, sip it slow and enjoy!

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Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a jet black and opaque. There were a few light brown bubbles on the surface of the beer. Absolutely no lace.

S - It smelled of oatmeal, coffee and some floral notes.

T - It tasted of bitter dark chocolate and oats. There were toffee and molasses flavors, too. Despite the high ABV, no boozy or alcohol flavors.

M - It was soft and smooth with a dry finish. A medium bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good Imperial Stout. The ABV is sneaky...watch out

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Photo of DIM
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in the fall of 2007

a: Black body with a frothy, mocha colored head.

s: Smells good, but it is kind of one dimensional. Lots of rich, boozy milk chocolate and maybe a little cherry.

t: Pretty much mirrors the smell. Extremely rich chocolate milk flavors dominate. The finish is boozy but not hot and a bit tart.

m: Medium bodied with gently foamy carbonation.

d: Did I get a mislabeled Choklat? This did remind me of Choklat which I scored much higher. Why? Truth in advertising I guess. This was good, 6 ounces at a time. It just wasn't what I expected.

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Photo of bbeane
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured into an oversized wine glass... after an agressive pour, it starts with a small brown head that doesn't linger long. Beer is black with no light making it through when held up to one

S- Disappointingly weak. A bit of sweetness, like dark fruits... more like that of a RIS

T- Starts sweet, dark fruits mixed with licorice. Hints of coffee and chocolate. Has a very earthy oak taste

M- Smooth with little carbonation, on the heavier side, but not chewy

D- Tasty, but a bit disappointing as far as Southern Tier Imperials go... IMO.


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Photo of Anthony1
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer is a deep black color with a short brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass. The aroma is of dark chocolate, roasted oats, dark malts, some alcohol and a touch of hops. The taste is malty and very creamy up front with strong flavors of roasted oats and dark chocolate. There are background flavors of coffee and dark fruit. There's a mild but complimentary hops presence and there's very little trace of the 12.50% ABV. The after-taste is slightly sweet. Crisp and very smooth but kind of slick due to the heavy viscosity, heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is sticky.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Brass Rail Deli on 11/23/09.

A - Oily, dark brown body with deep amber and burgundy hues and a thin but creamy medium tan head that reduced to a patchy retention and sparse lacing.

S - Initial aroma combines a waft of alcohol and a subtle dark fruit tang with a hint of licorice. Chocolate and coffee notes, while also apparent, are relegated more to the background.

T - The tap version of Oat doesn't necessarily strike me as an oatmeal stout, but rather more of a RIS, with hints of licorice, molasses and minimal sweetness. Alcohol is definitely apparent, but not overpowering. Quite a bit of bitterness emerges in the backend, imparting an earthy, leafy (almost clingy) bitterness.

M - Slick, oily texture with a very smooth, softly carbonated body. Finishes with moderate alcohol heat and hop bitterness on the palate.

D - I remember liking this much more out of the bottle. While this was still a good stout, I think it was a tad green. It certainly didn't weigh up to Mokah, Choklat or Jahva. Perhaps it just needed some age.

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Photo of bonk0076
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown color with a generous chocolate head that diminishes quickly, leaving a little lacing. Aroma is of roasted malt oatmeal and caramel. Chocolate, roasted malt, vanilla and oatmeal flavor. Good mouthfeel. Slightly carbonated. Nice finish

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

2009 bottle, (Blackwater Series) obnoxious horse staring at me while I poured....
Poured dark walnut brown into pint glass .

Weak scent, roasted malts, sweet aroma, definite hop aroma, but overpowered by dark malt.

Taste is very sweet. I heard a few people talking about this one being green. It tastes delicious as is, but I have no doubt that the beer can mature with a year on it, changing flavors without a problem. In any case, deep dark chocolate flavor, I definitely would not say burnt, in fact comparatively to some stouts I have been drinking lately(BBCS), this one tastes lower than many on the burnt scale - very small black patent kicking in. Willamette and Columbus hops as stated on label seem to be balancing quite nicely with this one, and I actually find a hard time experiencing the 11% abv.

Mouthfeel is syrupy and completely flat. I cannot help but think that I may have gotten an off bottle but seem to think that this is the norm with the 11% abv. I think ST should bump it up a few degrees and force carb this bad boy

D: bomber down in 20 solo and enjoyed

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Photo of mdcrouser
2.54/5  rDev -38%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

The deep black beer shows tiny crescents of ruby red shining through the bottom of the glass.

The smell seems to be earthy, maybe even a little bit green - not nearly the well-rounded and sweetly-malted version I was expecting.

Those virtues do come through a bit more in the mouth, but the green-ness is also emphasized - I think that's the oats - are they under-roasted, or just coming through that way?

Even the roasted qualities that are here are burnt to the point of being off-putting - some bitter is good, but burnt bitter, not so good.

Even the carbonation seems to be somewhat flat, boring, and simply lifeless.

Not only will this beer fall to the bottom of my list, but it makes me second guess the brewery just a bit.

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Photo of Aenema
3.77/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a deep black brown fringes when held to the light. Very thin, short-lived tan head which leaves little lacing.
Smell - Roasted malt, chocolate and alcohol.
Taste - Tasty base of roasted malts features lots of rich chocolate and is nicely supported by a firm hop-backbone.
Mouthfeel - Silky smooth, creamy feel with a medium-full body and light carbonation.
Drinkability - Rich and quite filling. Lots of flavor and quite enjoyable, but definitely a slow sipper to be shared.
Overall - An enjoyable beer that is most notable for the silky smooth mouthfeel and then the rich chocolate flavors. Plan to split this with at least one other person.

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Photo of mikey711
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark black with only a thin layer of head that does not retain very well. No lace either

S: Very sweet smelling with notes of chocolate and booze. Also some nice oat notes.

T: Heavily sweet with a touch of the oatmeal coming through and some bitterness from the roasted malt.

M: Very full bodied with a nice level of creaminess.

D: Definitely one to split with someone else. The sweetness was a bit cloying at times which I have found to be normal for the southern tier black water series

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Photo of JRed
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black in body with cinnamon head. Weak aroma of oats and alcohol. A great taste of oats, malt, slight roast, milk chocolate, alcohol. Heavy body with a lingering malty sweet aftertaste. The alcohol isn't obnoxious but hides in the back of your head. A very nicely done heavy ale.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 22oz brown pop top with nice label; no freshness date but with this abv, no worries

Appearance: The bottle's claim that this is "as dark as a moonless night" is pretty darn accurate; no light is getting through this brew. A dark tan cap forms, but soon falls to a thick ring and a thin film

Smell: Big and supremely boozy; if I didn't know better, I'd swear this was probably a bourbon-oak aged stout, it has that character in the aromas of woodsy, vanilla-laced booze and mild sweet roasty grains. Touch of chocolate emerges as this warms. Would like a little more intensity and less alcohol, though this is still pretty good.

Taste: Big booze character, in keeping with the aromas, though the bourbon-like scents aren't reproduced. The booze is a bit hot, but this tastes like an imperial oatmeal stout should; it's sweet and full of cocoa, with just a touch of hazelnut coffee in the background as well. The chocolatey notes are especially nice, and the taste reminds me of the aromas of the bags of cocoa shells my parents spread around our flower beds when I was a kid which made the whole yard smell like chocolate. Not bad, but not a ton of depth, and the booze needs to be toned down just a bit.

Mouthfeel: Fairly rich, but not as big as the 11% suggests it might be

Drinkability: (1) 22oz bottle split between two people was about right

Conclusion: The chocolately flavors are really nice, but the booze is a bit hot and a lack of complexity keeps this from being truly great.

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Photo of drpimento
3.25/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served with a nice fine, foamy, thick, creamy, tan head and some lace. Color is an opaque dark brownish black. Aroma is malty, toffee, chocolate, molasses, and dark ripe fruit. Flavor's about the same. The molasses and dark ripe fruits stand out, to the beer's detriment, I feel. Body is decent and so is carbonation. Finish is long and has a flavor with a boozy warmth.

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Photo of jgasparine
3.89/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours from the bottle with no head and just a touch of edge lacing. Looks very much like an undercarbonated cola.

S- Very very roasty, with lesser aromas of oatmeal, vanilla and coffee.

T- *BIG* Roasty and oatmeal flavors come blasting through... simple, clean and quite lovely. Finishes with just a touch of bitterness and astringency.

M- Big body- slightly granular with the unattenuated sugar, and creamy with the addition of oats to the brew. This all combines with a nice soft carbonation for a fantastic mouthfeel.

D- Very drinkable for 11% ABV... the alcohol is quite hidden. While I enjoyed a sample of this beer, the roastiness could very easily become overpowering for me... and for this reason, I think I'll make sure to have at least two other friends available to split the next bottle.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got from johnnnniee in a trade - many thanks! 2009 edition so 11% ABV instead of the 9.6% currently listed. Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter. Was pitch black in color. Wasn't getting much of a head until I did a hard pour at the end and even then it was slightly above average. It quickly faded into a collar. No lacing.

The aroma was surprisingly very subdued. Sweet from the sugar and dark fruit mixed with oats, chocolate and coffee plus a huge hit of the alcohol within. The alcohol was a bit too hot for me as I wanted the oat and chocolate to come thru more. The taste was better than the aroma with more of the chocolate flavor and much less of the alcohol. Starts out very sweet and then fades a little bit to finish with a not too sweet finish offset a bit of bitterness. Good but I think this would be even better with some aging. Time to get another one and cellar it. Mouthfeel was rich and creamy.

Overall, a good beer that I think would be even better with some age to tone down the alcohol and to let the other flavors develop. Still rather good though and I do recommend. Rotation: not avail in TX (got in a trade). Will probably seek out another for cellaring and see if worth doing more after that.

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Photo of superdedooperboy
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

My fiancee and I picked up this dark beauty in honor of our official engagement: 09 November 2009.

Served at cellar temperature, 45 degrees F, and from there enjoyed throughout the temperature spectrum. Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a snifter glass. ABV is denoted as 11.0%.

Part of Southern Tier's "Blackwater" series, this brew's color befits its background: "as dark as a moonless night," as the brewery describes it, with ruby-red highlights showing themselves along the edges. A short tan head rises and falls quicker than a waning moon; lacing is as untraceable as the new moon in a morning sky.

A dark and delectable aroma entices the senses, with notes of dark roast, unsweetened chocolate, dried figs and black cherries wafting into the nose.

Rich, chewy, and full-bodied, with a very light carbonation that accentuates the thickness and provides explanation for the quickly-dissipating head. Decadent flavors of dark chocolate, roasted coffee, figs and dark pit fruits play across the palate, melding with a heavy bittering edge and a powerful alcoholic warmth that carries well into the chest, making this a perfect sipper and winter warmer. Finishes with a lingering chocolate-caramel malt fade and a warming glow.

Drinkability is not the number one trait of this beer, with the 11.0% ABV hitting the head and chest hard and the heavy-handed bitterness storming the palate, but this is nevertheless a wonderful and complex brew that could certainly stand up to some aging. The creamy characteristics typical of oatmeal stouts are unable to truly present themselves here thanks to the ale's weightiness, but this certainly doesn't detract from the overall appeal of this black beauty; undoubtedly, underneath and though undetectable, it serves its purpose well and only enhances the depth of this creation.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: dark dark dark. Small amount of caramel colored head that leaves some spotty lacing that lingers long enough to remind to take your next sip.

S: Not an overpowering nose, but perhaps I'm just getting a cold. I'm getting a lot of coffee.

T: Very smooth stout. Lots of coffee and toffee and caramel. Some chocolate notes and some oatsy graininess.

M: A little gritty. Full bodied. Seems like it could use a little more carbonation.

D: At almost 10% abv this is a great winter warmer. I'm just sitting around with my imperial pint glass relaxing after dinner, and this is beer is certainly working for me right now. It is also nicely improving as it warms up. Now it is even finishing with a slight warming alcohol bite that was masked by the oats when I first poured it.

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Photo of nanertak
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured 22 oz to tulip.

Appearance: Very, very dark. No hints of light. No head, almost no carbonation (bad bottle perhaps?).

Smell: Smells deep and rich. Cocoa, toffee, hint of sweet alcohol. Molasses and dried fruit, figs hidden in there somewhere. Call me crazy, but something like earthy mushrooms too.

Taste: Deep and rich. The usual chocolate, coffee, backed with molasses sweetness, then a nice and very mild bitterness in the finish that helps to disguise the alcohol. Still apparent in the breath, but considering the ABV, it's well masked. I'd like a little more robustness to the malts, but it's well balanced.

(edit - it's getting richer as i finish the glass, opening up a LOT as it warms some. This is one of those beers I'd drink room temperature.)

Mouthfeel: Not unctuous, but has some serious viscosity. Coats the mouth, but not in an unpleasant way.

Drinkability: Very good. I'd find this one again.

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3.18/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

into a tulip wine glass. (sidenote: the beer menu and the Southern Tier website record a 9.6% ABV)

The pour. HOLY SHlT. Am I ready for this?!?! Black as satan himself (with ruby traces when held to light), an average, creamy and medium brown head that's gone quickly.

The aroma. A little tamer. DAMN STRAIGHT I'm ready for this!! Molasses, chocolate and caramel toasted malts. Bit of baked cookie. I can't wait.

The taste. WHAT HAPPENED?? Or in this case, what DIDN'T happen in this grab bag of flavors. Everything that the nose picked up plus hop heavy, resiny, musty/earthy/doughy yeast, oats, alcohol heavy, smoke, tar, charcoal, anise and sour milk.

Pleasant mouthfeel but not very drinkable.

My experience went downhill after the aroma. I am very disappointed in this VERY bitter Imperial Stout.

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Oat (Imperial Oatmeal Stout) from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87.3% out of 100 with 1,366 ratings
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